Symposium

Each spring the Atlanta Studies Network hosts an annual symposium that tackles the social, cultural, environmental, and economic issues facing Atlanta. In keeping with our belief that scholarship about the city should also be for the city, the symposium is always free to attend and open to the public.

Our eighth annual Atlanta Studies Symposium will be held at the Robert W. Woodruff Library of the Atlanta University Center on Thursday, April 23, 2020. This year’s theme is “Inclusive Innovation: Designing the Future of Atlanta.” See below for the full call for papers.

You can learn more about our previous symposia here.

Inclusive Innovation: Designing the Future of Atlanta

The eighth annual Atlanta Studies Symposium welcomes proposals on any aspect of Atlanta, past, present, or future. Priority will be given to those that directly relate to the conference theme, “Inclusive Innovation: Designing the Future of Atlanta.”

In June 2020, the city of Atlanta will host the inaugural U.S. edition of the global Smart City Expo, the world’s leading conference and expo on smart cities and smart urban solutions. City officials involved in this endeavor boast of their ability to “redefine what it means to be a smart city” while Atlanta researchers, city planners, and activists develop and investigate emerging technologies options to improve urban transportation in the City of Atlanta and the metro region. As the city hones in on its Smart City efforts, how will art and design be utilized alongside technology to enhance its infrastructure and address issues of equity? With the metro region’s ever-growing population and increased awareness of its need for new innovative methods of development, it is important for these methods to be inclusive and diverse to envision a more sustainable and equitable city and region. This symposium seeks to explore the points of intersection and division within Atlanta’s economic development, population growth and increased creative potential.  

This symposium poses the questions: 

  • How does economic development affect art and design in Atlanta?
  • How does art and design impact the lived environment of the city?
  • How can city design address structural oppression and economic disparity?
  • What are the ways art and design intersect with or address issues of equity in Atlanta?
  • What role does art, literature, and music, play in imagining alternative realities and radical futures for the city?
  • How is Atlanta redefining what it means to be a Smart city?
  • How is creative capital measured and cultivated within the city?
  • Who is designing the future of the city? Who is included in this future?

This year, we seek a diverse array of symposium sessions from scholars and practitioners at academic institutions, as well as from other public, private, and nonprofit organizations. We welcome proposals for:

  • Fully constituted panels with up to 3 presenters and a moderator
  • Individual papers or posters
  • 5 minute/5 slide presentations that will be part of a lightning round session
  • Roundtable discussions
  • Interactive workshops
  • Film screenings
  • Any other creative form of presentation you’d like to propose

Please submit abstracts via this Google form no later than February 12, 2020. Notifications will be sent out by March 13, 2020.

If you have questions about the event or proposals, please contact atlantastudiessymposium@gmail.com.

Sponsors of the 2020 Symposium include the Robert W. Woodruff Library of the Atlanta University Center, the Emory Center for Digital Scholarship and the Emory Writing Program, the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, the Urban Studies Institute and the Department of History at Georgia State University, the School of City and Regional Planning at the Georgia Institute of Technology, and the Department of Architecture, the Department of History and Philosophy, and the Department of Geography and Anthropology at Kennesaw State University.